A Visual Guide to Japan – The Port City of Kobe

Kobe is a beautiful city located between mountains and the sea in central Japan, it is not far from Osaka and it is the sixth largest city in the country. Earliest records of settlements in this area point to Kobe being continually populated since the 2nd century, although it has mainly served as a port […]

三度笠 Sandogasa Hat – A Traditional Japanese Accessory

By Mike Sullivan Often in period dramas, movies or even anime you will notice the hats that people wear when travelling, for many people they are seen as cool and are quite often associated with samurai. In fact normally the hat they will wear is called a Sandogasa (三度笠)which is a wide hat but which […]

Interview with Hidemi Asano – Jewellery Artisan using the Japanese Tradition of Minimalism

By Mike Sullivan Please introduce yourself and your background. I was born in Osaka, the second largest city in Japan until we moved to a town called Takarazuka which is in Hyogo prefecture. At first, I hesitated that I’d been thrown into a rural envelopment but gradually I settled. I suppose my source of inspiration […]

Edo Kiriko Glassware – Beautiful Crafts that resulted from European Influence

By Mike Sullivan A typical image of Japanese people, and in particular of traditional Japanese people eating or drinking, would feature cups and plates but nothing made out of glass, even when we think of sake cups the common image is of something made out of ceramics. It therefore might be surprising to hear that […]

Interview with Mariko Sumioka – Jewelry Artisan and Metalworker making Incredibly Detailed Items

Please introduce yourself and your background. I am a contemporary art jewellery artist. I was born in Japan, in a city in Aichi Prefecture, However I have lived in Osaka for the longest period in my life, around 9 years. Our family moved often, every 3-4 years, due to my father’s job. We also lived […]